World Health Day 2021

April 7th of each year marks the celebration of World Health Day. From its inception at the First Health Assembly in 1948 and since taking effect in 1950, the celebration has aimed to create awareness of a specific health theme to highlight a priority area of concern for the World Health Organization.

Over the past 50 years this has brought to light important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change. The celebration is marked by activities which extend beyond the day itself and serves as an opportunity to focus worldwide attention on these important aspects of global health.

In recent years, countries in the Western Pacific have experienced rapid economic growth, migration and urbanization. This created opportunities for better lives for many, but left others behind. The COVID-19 pandemic has undercut recent health gains, pushed more people into poverty and food insecurity, and amplified gender, social and health inequities.

This World Health Day, we’re calling for action to eliminate health inequities, as part of a year-long global campaign to bring people together to build a fairer, healthier world. The campaign highlights WHO’s constitutional principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.”

To mark World Health Day 2021, Elsevier presents a curated list of free access journal articles and book chapters in support of this year's theme - building a fairer, healthier world for everyone.


Principles of Tissue Engineering, Fifth Edition, 2020, Pages 1585-1591

This book chapter advances SDG 3 by explaining how new devices are emerging that utilise the convergent technologies of several different fields of science and engineering to create tissue that can mimic the structure and function of the natural world and this raises new ethical challenges.

Fighting the Opiod Epidemic, 2020, Pages 43-60

This book chapter advances SDG 3 by explaining how pain is considered as the fifth vital sign. Therefore, proper treatment of acute or chronic pain is important for improving the quality of life of patients.

Stem Cells, Third Edition, 2021, Pages 383-399

This book chapter advances SDG 3 by explaining how many scientists share the conviction that human stem cell technology and greater understanding of stem cell biology will in the coming decades fulfill much of its promise and revolutionise medicine as we know it today, improving patient care without past precedent.

Protocol Handbook for Cancer Biology, 2021, Pages 87-105

This book chapter advances SDG 3 by explaining how cancer stem cells (CSCs) are important for understanding tumor biology and pathogenesis.

Cancers in the Urban Environment, Second Edition, 2021, Pages 22-23

This book chapter advances SDG 3 by explaining how advances in technology and research methodology now permit us to assign more certainty to the magnitude of genetic susceptibility.

Organ Repair and Regeneration, 2021, Pages 273-284

This book chapter advances SDG 3 by explaining how there are many strategies that have been implemented to increase the transplant donor pool, yet the gap between the demand and the offer remains too wide and, as a consequence, the number of patients dying on the waiting list keeps rising.

Diabetes Digital Health, 2020, Pages 145-157

This book chapter advances SDGs 3 and 10 by explaining how individuals with diabetes who are of lower socioeconomic status are more likely to have poorer diabetes-related outcomes. Digital health advancements provide unique opportunities to reduce health inequities for this high-risk group.

Obesity, 2020, Pages 117-139

This book chapter advances SDGs 3 and 10 by explaining how to develop a comprehensive understanding of the epidemiology of obesity, and that it is important to consider the social circumstances and environmental exposures that are related to obesity, given that these contribute to a combined 20% of premature deaths.

Particulates Matter, 2021, Pages 77-91

This book chapter advances SDGs 3, 13, and 15 by explaining how particulate matter in our atmosphere can have a range of negative effects on the body when inhaled, emphasising the need to assess and improve air quality.

Antimalarial Agents, 2020, Pages 1-48

This book chapter advances SDGs 3 and 15 by explaining how malaria presents challenges that are heavily linked to multiple sustainability goals, and advances in drug-development is a key part of addressing future challenges here.